My five shopping rules of owning designer labels

September 18, 2014

It's no surprise that I shop a lot. I hardly repeat my outfits and I have so many clothes that I need two wardrobes at home. I'm also still constantly taking up my brother's wardrobe space wtf. If you follow me on Twitter, my second wardrobe broke just the other day.

So naturally, one question I get asked a lot is, "How do you have so many clothes and not go broke??!!?" People assume that I shop a lot = I spend a lot but it's not always this way because I hardly go for designer labels. And when I do, I have five shopping rules that I live by but first, let me digress a bit.

My favourite designer label is Marc Jacobs / Marc by Marc Jacobs (MBMJ) and I remember the first time I heard of the brand... It was in 2012 and I was just another student taking O Levels. I was never an avid fan of branded stuff so I only knew of the bigger names such as Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Prada and the likes.

"Wow! A Marc Jacobs watch," my tuition teacher commented after he saw a girl in my class wearing the watch. I was completely oblivious and couldn't care less because like I said, I was never interested in brands. To me, the $10 Hello Kitty watch that I found online would suffice.

Well, that changed the moment I laid my eyes on the said Marc Jacobs watch two months later. Holy fuckaroni, that watch has got to be the most beautiful thing I've ever seen. It was a full white watch with the words MARC encrusted in diamantes of different colours. If that wasn't love at first sight, I don't know what is.

I went home and searched on the brand and my world changed because I ended up liking everything they have. Their phone covers, watches, laptop cases, wallets, perfumes etc. I was basically hooked on to their online store but of course, I was a penniless student so Marc Jacobs was only a fantasy for me.

Only towards the middle of this year, when I started earning more, that the temptation became really great. I had the money in my bank and I had the freedom to spend it whichever way I wanted. The stuff I owned also became more expensive. I started paying $20+ for a bag when I was only willing to pay $15 for one in the past (not even kidding).

I became guilty of being somewhat brand consious, especially after receiving a Kate Spade wallet and a Tiffany & Co necklace as gifts. When I shopped online, I started going for brands and I bought stuff from F21, A&F, Armani Exchange, Victoria's Secret and more recently, Prada. Sorry I know they are of very different ranges but I'm just trying to make a point here

Admittedly, I got all of them at a thifted price(!!!) but the fact is that I am spending money on designer labels, which I'm quite ashamed of because my friends know me as this auntie who only buys all the cheap stuff wtf. But I tell myself that yes, I am spending money but they are brands that I really like. I am not spending just for the sake of spending and wearing these designer labels just to flaunt it.

So when I spend on designer labels, I keep these five rules in mind.

I admit that peer pressure exist.
Yes, even at this age. I have a lot of friends who are really rich and never had to worry about their next meal. Their parents can afford any brands and pay for all their shopping. But I'm not like them. I envy them sometimes but I'm good with what I have.

Yet, the deniable truth is that we compare. We are humans and we have our competitive sides. Sometimes, I want something because another person has it. Sometimes, I compare too much and end up not appreciating what I already have.

So before I buy anything slightly expensive, I think hard and long. I lay down my needs and wants. I ask myself if I really need/want something or is it going to be another impulsive buy. I consult my friends and I try to search for cheaper alternatives.

My usual budget is only $15, which means I really spend a lot of time considering if I need these designer labels. While I have fallen trap to peer pressure sometimes, I am glad that I'm able to acknowledge that it exists because I learn to manage my own feelings better.

The core of me doesn't changed.
Heck, even the conversations about my designer items goes like "omfg you know I got ____ for only $___?!?!?!" All the clothes I own are still below $15 and in fact, recently, I started putting clothes back on the rack as long as they are above $10 in an attempt to save money wtf.

Here's an outfit to prove my point.
Top: $3.90
Skirt: $3
Bag: About $13
Shoes: Can't remember but probably less than $15

I haven't changed. Ponggol Nasi Lemak still makes me happy. Cycling to East Coast Park to eat wanton mee still satisfies me. Just because I indulge myself every now and then doesn't mean that I let myself loose all the time. Take me on a cheap picnic and I'll be even happier than if you bring me to Pique Nique (sorry I just had to)

I am still an auntie at heart and I still walk an extra mile with my best friend so that we save $1 on drinks. I still refuse to take cabs even if I'm not feeling well sometimes. And I'm not ashamed of that.

I pace myself and look for an upgrade.
All these while, even though I still look at the website a lot, I kept myself from buying something from Marc Jacobs / Marc by Marc Jacobs (MBMJ) because the brand is like God-sent to me wtf. So I tell myself if I buy this brand now, I'll reach my target but then what now?

We are all constantly looking to upgrade ourselves and while you may not agree with me, MBMJ is my goal. If I get it now, what else can I upgrade to? Sure, there's still Chanel which I love as well but that's still a long way. And after Chanel?

I make sure I have the ability to wear these labels, not let these labels wear me.
I'm not about to have a Chanel bag but an empty wallet. I don't want to be known as the girl who owns this-and-that label. I'd rather be known as the blonde one, or the one who gets all her outfits at a cheap price.

Additionally, one thing that I remain firm about is that I do not use any of my mom's money for my shopping. So everything that I'm spending comes from my pocket, and I think that's something to be proud of. So what if you have a million designer labels but none are bought with your hard earned money? If I ever show off, it is because I am proud of myself.
I reward myself and keep my favourite brand as a form of motivation.
I told myself I would reward myself with a MBMJ watch which I have been eyeing if I did well for school the previous semester. And boy, did I do better than expected! But I kept telling myself that it's not enough and I can do more this semester. I wanted to reward myself something from my ultimate goal only if I did something I consider worthy of this brand.

So far I haven't done anything huge with my life worth celebrating like that but I do love Marc Jacobs so much - both the guy and the brand.

Thank you for making me feel better about being an imperfect oddball.

I swear one day when I'm older and working or when I done something so great that I can consider MBMJ as my reward,

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